Book of Amos

The book is logically connected, and is divisible into four parts. Amos 1:1 to Amos 2:13; the sins of Syria, Philistia, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, the neighbors of Israel and Judah Amos 2:4 to Amos 6:14; Israel's own state and consequent punishment; the same coasts "from the entering in of Hamath," which Jeroboam has just recovered from Syria, shall be "afflicted," and the people carried into "captivity beyond Damascus" (Amos 5:27). Amos 7:1-9:10; Amos's visions of grasshoppers devouring the grass, and fire the land and deep, both removed by his intercession; the plumb line marking the buildings for destruction; Amaziah's interruption at Bethel, and foretold doom; the basket of summer fruits marking Israel's end by the year's end; the Lord standing upon the altar, and commanding the lintel to be smitten, symbolizing Israel's destruction as a kingdom, but individually not one righteous man shall perish.

Amos 9:11-15; David's fallen tabernacle shall be raised, the people re-established in prosperity in their own land, no more to be pulled out, and the conversion of the pagan shall follow the establishment of the theocracy finally; compare Amos 9:12 with Acts 15:17. Reference to agricultural life and the phenomena of nature abounds, in consonance with his own former occupation, an undesigned propriety and mark of truth: Amos 1:3; Amos 2:13; Amos 3:4-5; Amos 4:2; Amos 4:7; Amos 4:9; Amos 5:18-19; Amos 6:12; Amos 7:1; Amos 9:3; Amos 9:9; Amos 9:13-14. The first six chapters are without figure; the last three symbolical, with the explanation subjoined. He assumes his readers' knowledge of the Pentateuch, and that the people's religious ritual (excepting the golden calves) accords with the Mosaic law, an incidental confirmation of the truth of the Pentateuch.

Stephen (Acts 7:42) quotes Amos 5:25-27; and James (Acts 15:16) quotes Amos 9:11. Philo, Josephus, the Talmud, Justin Martyr, the catalogues of Melito, Jerome, and the council of Laodicea, confirm the canonicity of Amos. His use of the names Adonai (Lord) and God of hosts marks that Jehovah, Israel's covenant God, is universal Lord. Characteristic and peculiar phrases occur: "cleanness of teeth," i.e., want of bread (Amos 4:6); "the excellency of Jacob" (Amos 6:8; Amos 8:7); "the high places of Isaac" (Amos 7:9), "the house of Isaac" (Amos 7:16); "he that createth the wind" (Amos 4:13). Hosea, his contemporary, survived him a few years.
SEE AMOS.